Black rice with broccoli

Last week I attempted to eat vegetarian meals for the week. This may sound really easy and a bit ridiculous, but I’m very fussy. Growing up I had a diet of chicken, bread and gravy or steak pie, bread and gravy with not much variation on those two meals. If we went out for pizza I’d have it tomato sauce free.

At the age of 16 I was introduced to pasta and rice, which I liked but still refused vegetables. By the time I was 21 I was getting better but limited to roasted carrots and parsnips with a roast dinner.

Now, closer to 30 than 20, I am eating a lot better but I’d never really consider having a dish without meat or fish. So I challenged myself to eat meat free for a week. I allowed some fish but that’s it.

Monday and Tuesday spiced carrot soup

Vegetable soup is one of my favourites (as long as it’s blended – still fussy) and I usually go for my versatile veggie soup. This time I made a spiced carrot soup which was absolutely delicious.

Spiced carrot soup

Wednesday Quinoa, salmon and broccoli

I picked up Deliciously Ella’s book a month or so ago and I’ve been dying to try out some recipes. I managed to find tahini and tamari in my local Sainsbury’s so I was set to make this recipe for easy quinoa with sautéed veggies. I left out the courgette because I was using this as a side rather than a main meal.

Deliciously Ella's quinoa with salmon

Thursday black rice and broccoli

This is another Deliciously Ella recipe called warm wild rice salad. The black rice turned my wooden spoon purple! While I was making this up I’d put the raisins in boiling water to soak and completely forgot about them. It wasn’t until my other half was washing up and said what on earth are these that I realised I’d completely forgotten to add them to the meal.

Friday avocado pasta

Yummy avocado, basil and parmesan pesto with tuna and tagliatelle. This is such an easy recipe but I recommend making the pesto in a food processor rather than squeezing it into a coffee grinder and trying not to spill it everywhere. I really need to buy a food processor!

Avocado pesto pasta

Saturday – oh dear

We were out with the in laws today and headed to Starbucks for lunch. There wasn’t much choice so I ended up with a sausage roll. Oops. It wasn’t even very nice. For dinner we headed to Pizza Express and I had salmon risotto so that’s a tick.

Sunday – even worse

We visited my parents on Sunday and ended up at Pizza Express again. I went for the new Margherita Bufala but added ham on top. I don’t even know why I added ham, but I ruined my veg free week again.

Even though I had a few slip ups I’m excited that I managed to eat so many meals without meat. It’s made me try black rice and quinoa and although I’ll never go meatfree, I can mix it up, use these as sides to meat and fish, and enjoy trying new veggie dishes.

What are your favourite veggie dishes?